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INFLATION SALVATION: Making a dollar stretch on food

If you can't buy less food, and you don't want to waste, here are ways you can make your food last longer, saving you from needing to buy again so soon.

MOLINE, Ill. — The cost of groceries has increased by 13% in the last 12 months according to the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics. That means budgets are being pushed just to afford everyday staples. Additionally, Feeding America says 40% of all food in America is thrown out. As many families struggle to afford their groceries News 8's David Bohlman went on the hunt to find simple ways to make our food last longer, so we aren't wasting and in turn save money so we aren't running back to the grocery store as often.

Food Network says for Apples, store them in the fridge in the crisper drawer. Alternatively, you can store it in a cool, dry place like a basement. Doing this can add three months to the shelf life of your apples.

For cheese, milk and yogurt follow this rule: never store in the door. These items need a consistently cool place to stretch their life. If you store in the door, your items are seeing a different temperature every time you open the door. After you've opened cheese, wrap in wax paper or parchment paper then put in a partially sealed bag. Be sure you always store cheese, milk, and yogurt on the bottom shelf, in the back, this is the coldest part of your fridge.

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Milk can also be frozen if you find a deal. Just put it in a freezer-safe, air-tight container. That can extend the life of your milk by three months. Some report a grainy consistency after you thaw it. However, a remedy you can consider is using a hand mixer and blend for a bit, and that has worked for some.

Did you find a deal on meat? Pick it up, if you can afford it. You can freeze meats. If you will be freezing more than a few days, remove from the store packaging. Then wrap the meat in plastic wrap, and place in a freezer bag. Be sure you take out as much air as possible. Doing this can extend the life of your meat by 3 to 12 months depending on the kind of meat.

Below is a chart that shows how long you can store certain meats in your freezer.

Credit: WQAD

You can also find additional items and how long you can store them in the freezer by clicking this link.

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